Welcome to Brunch-Off, our brand new column devoted to brunch recipes. In a bid to get more people cooking seasonally, we’ll be featuring seasonal brunch and breakfast recipes every Saturday morning. The twist? We’ll be asking two food bloggers to give us their own brunch recipes featuring the same predetermined seasonal ingredient for a friendly competition. (And we want to hear your ideas, too.)
This week we asked Elena of Biscuits and Such and Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen to use clementines in a brunch recipe. These cute little citrus fruits are a common sight in kitchens around the country at this time of year. Most people eat them straight out of the rind, but we thought we’d challenge our bloggers to see how they’d prepare them for brunch. Here are the delicious results.
First up is Elena of the Southern food blog Biscuits and Such:
My goals with this challenge were to create something fun, tasty, and unique to my niche, Southern food. Surprise to no one I chose grits as a foundation ingredients (are you getting sick of grits?). Sweet grits made with cinnamon, ginger, and almond milk formed into cakes and lightly fried. Topped with fresh clementines that had been tossed in local raw honey. Something light, full of flavor, and designed for brunch. That is to say, complimentary to mimosas and bacon.
Almond Grits Cakes with Clementines & Honey
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup stone ground grits
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 cup corn flour
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Dash of cinnamon/ginger
2 tbsp honey
Pinch of salt (optional)
The grits cakes need to be formed at least an hour before being fried, though the night before is ideal.
In a medium saucepan combine grits, almond milk, honey, and spices. Cook over medium heat unti the grits are thick but still creamy. Pour into cupcake pans and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
Chop clementines in half or thirds and toss in honey. Let sit.
Combine corn flour, almonds, and spices and heat 1/4″ of oil in a heavy pan. Carefully (I used a fork so my hands didn’t warm the grits) coat the grits cakes in the flour mixture and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Top with clementine mixture and a sprinkle of salt.
Next up is Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen:
All throughout the winter, I keep a giant bowl on my kitchen table packed with all different citrus fruits; it’s one of my favorite things about the season. Clementines are ever present: the easily-peeled, orange cuties find their way into my kids’ lunch boxes and are frequently eaten as snacks by all members of my family. I’ve never incorporated them into my baking before, but when challenged to include clementines in a brunch item, my mind went straight to scones. These have an amazing texture and as long as you use certified gluten-free oats, they are gluten free. Serve with additional segmented clementines and some plain or vanilla yogurt for a simple, light brunch, or get fancier and serve with clotted cream and marmalade, alongside scrambled eggs. Whatever you do, don’t forget about the tea: you simply must have tea with scones!
Inspired by Clementine Scones from Bon Appetit:
Makes 8 scones
For the scones:
1/2 cup organic sugar
Zest from 2 clementines
1 cup/150 g oat flour (I made mine by whirring whole organic oats in the blender for a couple of minutes)
1 cup/145 g buckwheat flour (I used Acadian light buckwheat flour from Bouchard Family Farm)
1/4 cup/20 g coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup real buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, preferably organic, cut into 2 inch pieces
For the icing:
Juice of 1 clementine
Organic powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and the clementine zest with your fingers.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, and sea salt with a whisk or a fork. Add the sugar/zest and mix well.
4. Transfer flour mixture to the working bowl of a food processor and add the butter. Process for 10 seconds. Add the buttermilk and process for 10 to 20 seconds more, just until the batter comes together. Do not overmix. Alternatively, you can make these by hand: work the butter into the flour mixture (don’t overwork…you want some visible chunks to remain), then add the buttermilk and mix just until the dough comes together.
5. Turn the batter out onto your parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into a thick circle measuring approximately 7 inches wide. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 equal triangle-shaped pieces. Separate the scones from each other by 1 to 2 inches and place the baking sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, overnight, or until ready to bake (cover it with foil if you are going to wait more than a day to bake the scones).
6. When you are ready to bake the scones, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the scones for 16-19 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
7. While the scones are baking, in a small bowl, mix powdered sugar into the clementine juice 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency of a thin icing. Mix in the salt. Allow the scones to cool slightly before drizzling some of the icing over each one. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
All photos courtesy of Biscuits and Such and Healthy Green Kitchen